…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World
I don’t (intentionally) blog for the ratings, nor am I here to make money from my blog, but at the same time I realise that if I have something to say that I’m considering posting on my blog I think, “is anyone going to want to read that?” In answering this internal question, I am indeed basing my answers, yes or no, on previous experience – which posts got a lot of views, which posts caused my visitor numbers to spike, which posts received some likes and comments. More “hits” likely means more incentive to keep posting. WordPress even has a “Trophy Case” feature for bloggers – I just looked at it for the first time now.
The previous month (July ’14) saw my highest number of visitors to my blog (yay me!), but as soon as I saw that on the graph I questioned, “what did I even blog about last month?” The answer is, “not much.”: Something about writer’s drafts [link], and something about achievements [link]. Two posts – I don’t think all the visitors came to read those. My rational thinking made me rope in the last thing I wrote in the previous month, something about Amazon Wish Lists [link]. Hardly headline-hitting stuff I admit.
Expanding my rationale I suspect that the longer you’ve had a blog, the more hits you’ll get, although my visitor’s graph doesn’t actually show a gradual increase month-on-month overall. You’ll certainly increase followers over time I’m sure, so each time you post something, chances are more people will take a gander. Plus, if you start incorporating other “social networking” tools/sites with links back to your blog, that’ll surely have an effect too.
One thing I have noticed regarding individual posts is that I never can guess what will be popular*. There have been random non-exciting things I’ve thrown at my blog and the next day I log in to discover there has been a spike in visitors, and they were all flocking to that post. The concluding point here is that certain tags will be more popular – indeed, I always like to follow the tags after I submit my post to see what other people have to say about that particular key word (I can only assume other people do the same thing and that inevitably causes certain topics to “trend”) – one could throw in some random, attention-seeking tags, but the end result in that is visitors not finding what they expected and then leaving pretty sharpish.
*On my website, back in the days before I had a “blog”, I dabbled with a section about celebrities (mostly female). Visitor numbers climbed to silly numbers, all thanks to some pictures of pretty women. After a while though I questioned, “what positive input am I having here?” – my whole reason for having a website (and now a blog) is to make my contribution to the internet, not to be just a spectator logging in to use the stuff others have put here. Again, one could throw in some random-attention-seeking pictures of scantidly-clad female celebrities (non-female ones are, I’m sure, also available, but your popularity-milage may vary), but if the picture is what draws in the punters, the content will probably do little to maintain their attention for long – and what YOU write, is what you want people to read, right?
These days I think I am somewhat self-conscious about what I post online. I kind of miss the days before everyone flocked here – now I consider who might visit my website or blog, I consider who might read what I have written, from people I know, or know me, to all of the people I don’t know, and from all those camps – how they’ll judge me. And, does what I have to say even warrant being posted in the public domain, rather than on a scrap of paper for my eyes only? (This is partly the reason I wrote about Writer’s Drafts – to question why I was leaving certain blog posts in my Drafts folder and not completing and submitting them).
At the end of the day, ratings do amuse me, so I thank you for visiting and reading my waffle! Now if only I could earn £1 for each visitor who comes here…